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Ricky slept fitfully, dozing off after the several pints of beer he had treated himself to in a busy seafront pub and waking with a start every time he saw headlights or heard a vehicle, or footsteps, or a door close. He sat in the passenger seat just so he didnt look like a drunk driver, should an inquisitive policeman come by, only leaving the van a couple of times to urinate in an alley.

He drove off again in the darkness, at 6 a.m., in search of a workmens caf'e, where he had some breakfast, and was back at his observation post again within the hour.

How the hell had he got himself into this situation? he asked himself repeatedly. How had he let himself be duped by this bitch? Oh, shed played it so cutely, coming on to him, playing the horny little slut to perfection. Letting him do everything he wanted with her and pretending to enjoy it. Maybe she was really enjoying it. But all the time she was pumping him so subtly for information. Women were smart. They knew how to manipulate men.

Hed made the damned mistake of telling her, because he wanted to show off. He thought it would impress her.

Instead, one night when he was coked out of his tree and rat-arsed drunk, she cleaned him out and ran. He needed it back desperately. His finances were shot to hell, he was up to his ears in debt and the business was not working out. This was his one chance. It had fallen into his lap, then she had snatched it and run.

There was one thing in his favour, though: the world in which she was running was smaller than she thought. Anyone she went to, with what she had, would ask questions. A lot of questions. He suspected she had already begun to find that out, which was why she was still around, and now her problems had been further complicated by his arrival in Brighton.

OCTOBER 2007 | Dead Man`s Footsteps | c